There are limits to Tiger Woods’ capability to work miracles. Somewhere. There need to be, proper?
Woods will not win the PGA Championship. He won’t ever win a match once more. But he is staying within the battle lengthy after so many others would have stop.
Fifteen months after a devastating automotive wreck that almost price him his leg, six weeks after his return to aggressive golf at Augusta, at some point after a spherical on the PGA Championship that began scorching however stalled late, Woods fought by means of one of many harder rounds of his profession to make the lower with a stroke to spare.
One shot over the lower line with seven tough holes to play, a visibly pained Woods carved up the final stretch of Southern Hills, taking part in the ultimate stretch at -2 to offer himself respiration room — and a few further relaxation — heading into the weekend.
Throughout Woods’ profession, by means of swing adjustments and caddie adjustments and trophies and scandals, what’s remained constant is his tenacity. He merely would not surrender within the face of harm, battling by means of illnesses and woes that may have ended the tournaments — or careers — of different gamers. From the 2008 U.S. Open he gained on a damaged leg to the 2019 Masters he gained after a number of knee and again surgical procedures to this week, Woods has at all times proven a monomaniacal willpower to proceed his profession on his personal phrases.
Playing alongside Rory McIlroy, who was seeing his Thursday lead slip away, and Jordan Spieth, who was struggling to seek out any sort of kind, Woods was combating his personal non-public battles late Friday afternoon. Playing with zero margin for error, he grimaced all through the afternoon, significantly late within the spherical as he approached the hardest holes on the course.
The turning level for Woods got here after the eleventh, the place he doubled the quick par 3 to fall to +5, one over the lower line with simply seven holes remaining. But the subsequent three holes had been a grasp class in strategic, nervy golf — Woods rolled in two 14-plus-foot putts to avoid wasting pars on 12 and 14, and took benefit of the final par 5 on the course, the thirteenth, to achieve a stroke and get again on the excessive aspect of the lower line.
Woods overcooked his strategy on the fifteenth, ending up in considered one of Southern Hills’ treacherous, gritty bunkers. But once more, Woods discovered a contact that so many different gamers have lacked within the bunkers, flicking the strategy to inside three toes of the opening. One gap later, he unveiled his most interesting iron shot of the week, dropping his strategy to inside 4 toes of the cup for a birdie try. He drained it with authority, giving himself a one-shot cushion going into the ultimate two holes.
On 17, Woods once more obtained shaky on strategy, flying the inexperienced and touchdown within the fringe. But as soon as once more, Woods pitched out of actual bother and rolled in a knee-knocker of a par putt, then clenched his jaw in ache as he walked off the inexperienced.
That left him with one gap left, and he made the 18th — one of many hardest on your entire course — look routine, with a simple drive-approach-two-putt. He walked off the course weary however happy. The mountains he conquers is probably not as excessive as of late, however he is nonetheless driving ahead, step by limping step.
Jay Busbee is a author for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.